Born in 1969 in Padua, Italy - I have been a computer geek since I was a child, my first computer being a ZX81 from good old Sinclair in the UK. Now I am a network administrator and programmer at the Section of Human Genetics, Department of Biology of the University of Padua.
My passion with plants began, again, when I was a kid, with Tulips and Crocus bought by mail from a Holland company named Stassen. One of the plants I liked most was the Venus Flytrap (a carnivorous plant, Dionaea muscipula). Once grown up my passion with carnivores exploded and now I own thousands of carnivorous plants. With Marcello Catalano, Andrea Amici and other friends we have founded the Italian Carnivorous Plant Society which I lead since 2004 (check website here if you want to know more).
A few years ago while visiting a good friend in Bologna (Andrea Cattabriga) who owns a wonderful collection of succulents, I saw my first Stapeliads and the love was immediate also thanks to Andrea who gave me my first cuttings of Stapeliads.
After some months I subscribed to the IAS and went in touch with Chris Moore, asking for help - Chris was so kind to send me a long and detailed email with an immense quantity of information - grateful for all his help I asked him how to help him back and he briefly replied "you'll find your way to help the Stapeliads community, if you really want to". Ok. Fine. In those same days there was someone from South Africa posting images on the email@example.com mailing list, and this person was sorry not to be able to post more images in a way that they could be reachable by everyone on the network - so I took this opportunity to "help the Stapeliad community". I wrote to this guy, whose name now I know is Loukie Viljoen, and offered my help. He was quite skeptical at the beginning : "who is this italian popping out from nowhere and offering his help? What does he want back?!?" - but at the end he agreed to start this project.
Now (August 2005) almost two years have passed and I have used part of the web architecture I use for my work sites to build a new website from scratch for Loukie's photos. Initially this was just a photo album with a few dozen photos - but Loukie added more and more and we started adding notes from growers, notes from photographers, correct names, synonyms, notes from the botanists and discoverers, Loukie also wrote a wonderful section containing the biographies of most Stapeliad explorers and botanists - and - well - at the end our initial small photo album evolved into what Stapeliads.info is today.
In these two years I have studied Stapeliads, have cultivated them, sown them, I have explored books and articles, but, most important, I have found a great friend and passionate enthusiast - Loukie, and I have come in touch with a great group of nice people: all you stapeliophiles.
Last but not least, a message to Chris Moore: "Chris,
Stapeliads.info is my contribution to the Stapeliad world, and, in
a certain way, my way to thank you for your help to me and for the great work you do for the community as well".
Enjoy your visit at Stapeliads.info and, if you want, join us.